Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011

Steve Jobs

I thought of Steve almost as a brother, and he never ceased to amaze me. I was fortunate enough to go down to Apple many times and see the early development of his products. One time Steve said, "You know, everybody has a cell phone, but I don't know one person who likes their cell phone. I want to make a phone that people love." That was the foundation of what became the iPhone. Or he would say, "What if you could have a thousand songs in your pocket?" "What if you could store a thousand photos?" "What if you could easily edit your own home movies?" His wife Laurene and the kids were so important to him, and that affected the ideas he came up with. He thought about what technology could do for families.

Before he went back to Apple, we were on Charlie Rose together. Charlie asked him about Apple on the air, and Steve didn't really answer. But after the cameras were off, he turned to Charlie and said, "I know how to save Apple. But they're just not listening to me yet." I thought, "Huh. That's interesting." A few months later, Apple bought NeXT, and Steve sat me down at Pixar and asked my permission to go back to Apple. He didn't want to do it without our blessing. He said he wanted to go back because the world would be a better place with Apple in it. That was incredibly touching to me, and it showed that Steve cared about people. He knew that his products and technology could improve people's lives.

Lasseter is a filmmaker and the chief creative officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios